Sleep deprivation is a norm among writers that has devastating toxic effects on our creative productivity.
Have you ever worked for a full 24hrs straight and felt normal the next morning? I guess not. Your morning routine will feel like crap.
You’ll feel drowsy, disoriented, and exhausted, along with the head-splitting migraine, lack of focus, and motivation to do anything except stare at your cream-colored walls or go back to sleep.
These are signs of sleep deprivation.
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Consciously depriving you of sound, quality sleep as a writer for lengthy periods because of your creative projects is injurious to your mental and physical health.
Sound sleep, relax, repair, rejuvenate, and refill your creative bank with enough juice to keep you active and productive daily.(Video) Chase Jarvis on the Dangers of Playing it Safe
Writing is exhausting and mentally tasking because your mind is constantly in overdrive, imagining, thinking, plotting, and reshuffling pieces to fit the picture you are painting on your canvas.
This process is consuming and demanding, especially as a young writer striving to develop yourself, which may push you to opt for longer work hours while sacrificing your sleep.
Forfeiting your sleep for more work hours might seem like nothing important until it becomes a repeated, addictive process that drains your mental energy and leaves you out to dry.
You don’t want to cultivate poor sleeping habits as a young writer. The toxic effects on your creative productivity are innumerable.
Relationship Between Sleep Deprivation And Creative Productivity
Sleep deprivation is a consistent, conscious avoidance of sleep. It is depriving you of quality sleep to create more time for your scheduled activities.
Creative productivity is the volume of creative work you tick off your daily planner as scheduled by you.
Measuring creative productivity is subjective to the writer, but it’s usually about your set writing goals for a period.
Sleep deprivation has a direct relationship with creative productivity because a lack of sleep leads to poor productivity, inferior quality of creative work, lack of will and motivation to write a word, and disorientation.
Lack of sleep can lead you to produce draft copies that are half-baked and ridden with errors, lack clarity, and are devoid of style, begging for mercy because you wrote them while half-asleep on your monitor.
Or after depriving yourself of sleep for days.
The result? You’ll have to start afresh. After an uninterrupted week or even a month of sleep and proper self-care.
To produce quality work as a writer, you need to take your self-care seriously, which advocates quality sleep as an effective way to practice self-care.
Without enough sleep, your creative productivity will suffer alongside your consistency and goals.
Effect Of Sleep Deprivation On Creative Productivity
The effects of poor sleep on your productivity as a writer are glaringly obvious when you measure your performance.
Sleep deprivation impairs your crucial cognitive and executive functions which are vital to your creative productivity.
Here are 7 effects of sleep deprivation on your creative productivity.
It Impairs Creativity
Fatigue and micro-sleep in the long run impair your ability to think creatively because your mind is in a chaotic state and has jumbled together your thoughts in a muddy mess.
For your imaginative mind to thrive, it needs a healthy space that provides room for clarity of thought. You can’t expect to think or write clearly when half your body is screaming at you.
Nor can you create any quality piece of work, when you’re half struggling to keep your eyes open and figuring out why the keys on your keyboard look so strange.
It Causes Irritability And Terrible Mood Swings
Sleep deprivation causes a drastic change in your mood swings and increases your irritability levels.
You’ll become grumpier and easily put off by the things you previously enjoyed doing. This impairs your productivity because mood swings and irritability create room for procrastination to thrive.
It Causes The Production Of Erroneous Work
It isn’t out of place for exhaustion to cause you to make mistakes while working. A lack of concentration precedes it.
Your inability to focus will cause you to overlook tiny details in your work, which will ruin long hours of good work in just minutes.
Imagine writing and struggling to keep your mind alert at the same time. I sure bet that you’ll find paragraphs laced with repetitive words or obscure sentences in the morning.
It Reduces Your Productivity
In the absence of quality sleep, your creative productivity will suffer. Your performance will rank below average and way below your expectations, which may cause you to spiral negatively.
Frustration and disorganization will set in, making a simple task seem unworthy, laborious, and time-consuming.
Your future projects will suffer from a backlog of uncompleted or poorly done projects which tanks your writing goals and drag your creative productivity through the mud.
It Causes Easy Distractibility
Fatigue causes you to become easily distracted by the most insignificant of distractions. Things that will not normally hold your attention will have it for a long period.
Imagine staring at the wall for hours. It’s usually but not uncommon if sleep deprived. It’s your mind’s way of trying to grapple with the chaos inside your head.
It Causes A Lack Of Motivation
Usually, even non-sleep-deprived writers struggle with maintaining motivation and riding with it, how much more a sleep-deprived one.
Your motivation will pack its bags and take flight once your muddy mind beckons to it. No matter how many times you try to grasp a hold of it, it’ll only flicker and slip through.
Without motivation, there’s a very high possibility that’ll remain stuck in a spot for the longest, most excruciatingly painful moment of your career struggling with writer’s block.
It Causes Break In Consistency
Consistency is the key to improving your performance and creative productivity as a writer, but allowing your lack of sleep to rub you off is unwise.
Writers need to maintain a consistent creative flow to grow and thrive, but there’s a lot that hinders that goal.
Consistency and creative productivity have a yin-yang relationship. One cannot attract the expected results without the other.
So, take that nap when needed and return to your keyboard revitalized.
Tips For Sound Sleep To Improve Your Creative Productivity
- Schedule your sleep time and keep to it daily.
- Wind down with a relaxing activity like yoga, reading a book or magazine, listening to soothing music, or having a bath 30 minutes before nap time.
- Exercise regularly, about 30 minutes per day (done earlier in the day or 2–4 hours before bedtime)
- Limit naps to about 30 minutes and none after 3 p.m.
- Avoid stimulants (alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine) 4–6 hours before bedtime
- Your bedroom should be prepared to serve the purpose of sleep. Take work to your study.
- Eat healthily. Avoid heavy and spicy meals 2 hours before bedtime.
- Turn off your television, computers, and phones an hour before bedtime. Don’t keep your phone close to your bed.
- Let go of the day’s failures and be grateful for what you have achieved.
- Make a to-do list for the next day as this reduces worry and anxiety.
- Switch off the light and take out any source of noise from the bedroom. The temperature of the bedroom should be just perfect for you.
- Avoid unnecessary use of alarm clocks. They affect your sleep.
- You can play relaxing background music to lure you to sleep.
- Invest in a great mattress and suitable bedding for a comfy feel when sleeping.
- Consult a health practitioner where these tips aren’t substantive.
It is impossible to separate sleep from creativity. Better concepts, ideas, and innovation filter through your mind when you have clarity of thought.
In the long run, sleep deprivation and micro-sleep will impair your creative productivity and eventually ruin your physical, emotional, and mental health.
Creative productivity and sleep deprivationEffects of sleep deprivationHealthy sleep habits for writersSleep and mental healthTips for healthy sleepToxic effects of microsleep
Sapphire is a medical doctor and poet. She enjoys blogging, medical research writing, SEO, and editing.She writes SEO-related medical articles for an international library and serves as an editor for the Watchman Medical Professionals' Forum.Sapphire is passionate about helping people make better health choices through her writing. At leisure, she enjoys baking and watching movies.
How does sleep deprivation affect creativity? ›
Lack of sleep impairs creativity
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Not getting enough sleep over an extended period of time. Effects include: depression, obesity, cancer, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, heartburn, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, accelerated ageing process.What is the most affected by sleep deprivation? ›
Heart and circulatory systems: Sleep deprivation has long-term damaging effects on your heart and circulatory health. People with chronic sleep deprivation are more likely to develop high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia).
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